June 18-20: ILS started off with two nights at camp, getting to know each other and celebrating Shabbat. On Sunday we set off to the airport for our long trip to the Holy Land. We headed to our first stop – Jerusalem, after we landed in Tel Aviv. Next morning, we started the day walking through the water tunnel in the city of David. Following that, we spent the majority of the day in the Old City visiting the Western Wall and exploring the delicious food. We did a scavenger hunt and games around the area. We ended the day with a night out on Ben Yehuda Street for dinner and shopping.
June 21: ILS took part in an archeological seminar at Mount Scopus, where we talked about the origin of the excavated land of Temple Mount. We then sifted through the rubble to find proof of the former ancient societies that lived there. Afterwards, we took a trip into a small village in the West Bank to hear from two speakers, one a Jewish settler and the other a Palestinian. They both shared their stories and backgrounds and gave their own perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At the end of the day, we spent another night out in the city of David, then went back to the hostel to get rest and prepare for our departure to Haifa.
June 22: Sadly, this was our last morning in Jerusalem. We started the morning at a gorgeous overlook of the whole city. We then drove a little North to a leadership seminar where we got to learn how to be shepherds and lead the sheep and goats to where we wanted them to go. Following that, we made our own za’atar, an Israeli spice. Later, we drove even further north to Caesarea, exploring the ancient Roman city on the Mediterranean Sea. We watched a video of what it used to be like to live there and the strength of the city. After Caesarea, we headed to Haifa where we learned how to catch waves in a surfing lesson at the Mediterranean Sea with a falafel dinner on the beach afterward. To end the day we watched a beautiful sunset at the beach.
June 24: After spending the night in Haifa we headed our way to an Ahmadiyya mosque where we listened to a community representative. She talked about the discrimination her religion faces, as well as its founding principles. We then took off to the beautiful Baha’i gardens on Mount Carmel. We learned about their faith and where they descended from. Next, we took a detour to an overlook facing the Haifa Port to talk about the importance of having a port city in a country. The next destination would be Rosh Hanikra. While there, we explored the natural caves and man-made tunnels — as well as its importance during the Second World War. Finally, ILS prepares to celebrate Shabbat, which is Drake themed!
This trip has been nothing short of amazing and we’re so excited for the next few following weeks!